Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Lonestar, “No News”

“No News

Lonestar

Written by Phil Barnhart, Sam Hogin, and Mark D. Sanders

Billboard

#1 (3 weeks)

April 13 – April 27, 1996

A superstar band earns its first of many No. 1 singles.

The Road to No. 1

Lonestar brought together five Texas musicians who met at Opryland in Tennessee, a history reflected in their earlier name, Texassee.  They played their first show in Nashville in 1993, and by early 1995, they were signed to BNA Records.   Their debut single, “Tequila Talkin’,” went top ten, and was followed by a multi-week No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

The first two albums by Lonestar reflect the standard look and sound of a nineties country band, complete with a lead singer in a cowboy hat.  There wasn’t too much that was distinctive on their debut album, but one track that stood out was “No News.”

It’s a funny, offbeat song with a laundry list of wonderings about where the woman he loves has gone to:

She could telephone, tell a friend
Tell a lie about where she’s been
Send a pigeon, send a fax
Write it on a Post-it pad
Send a signal up in smoke
Tap it out in Morse code
I’d prefer a bad excuse
To no news

His theories grow increasingly implausible as the song continues, to the point that he’s speculating about her being on the road with Pearl Jam or having been inducted by aliens.

It’s striking how different it is from their later massive hits, once they discovered the pop-country sound that fit lead singer Richie McDonald’s voice perfectly.  If they hadn’t made that sonic shift, “No News” would have been what they were most remembered for, even though they have more chart-toppers before that pivot was made.

The Road From No. 1

Lonestar produced three more singles, with two of them being hits.  “Runnin’ Away With My Heart” went top ten and “Heartbroke Every Day” went top twenty.  Lonestar then released their second album, Crazy Nights.  We’ll cover its lead single when we get to the summer of 1997.

“No News” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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5 Comments

  1. Easily Lonestar’s most interesting single to my ears. If only their lame musical legacy could be as easily corrected as Kevin’s typo. I have never forgiven them for their “sippy cup of milk” moment.

  2. B+ is fair. My favorite single of theirs was “Heartbroke Every Day” (I was a big Big & Rich fan until John jumped completely off the deep end), but this one was pretty well done. Lonestar was decent overall until they got overly sappy; agreed with Peter on the sippy cup line, and I haven’t changed on that even with sippy cups all over my house these days.

    Train did a better job with the concept of this song years later with “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”, though.

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